"What exactly is a basilica?" Top 5 Page for this destination St. Peter's Basilica Tip by Escadora7

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City: 162 reviews and 371 photos

  St Peters Basilica - an inside view
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The Latin word basilica (derived from Greek basiliké stoŕ, royal stoa), was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located at the centre of a Roman town (forum). In architecture, the Roman basilica was a large roofed hall erected for transacting business and disposing of legal matters.

After the Roman Empire became officially Christian, the term came by extension to refer to a large, and important church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope.

The oldest known basilica, the Basilica Porcia, was built in Rome in 184 BCE by Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Elder).

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Phone: +39 06 6988 3731
Website: http://www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_pietro/index_it.htm

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  • Updated Jun 3, 2005
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